Browsing Archives for December 2011

The Mother Daughter Show

December 21st, 2011

It happened again. In spite of not posting on this site for months at a time, I got sent another book to review for the blog. I can’t really comprehend this, but who am I to turn down a free book? The only problem is that once the book arrives, I have to actually sit down and read it and that was not as easy as it may sound. I took a few classes at a local university this Fall and was kept very busy reading material for my assignments. In my downtime, I found that instead of reading books, I desperately needed to watch back to back episodes of Inspector Lewis… primarily so I could look at this guy for long periods of time…

Laurence Fox who plays the world’s most laconic detective sidekick – James Hathaway.

An actor that is so long and lanky, I think I could fold him up like a road map and place him in my glove box.

But none of this helps me to tell you about the book I was sent to review on my blog does it?

The Mother Daughter Show by Natalie Wexler.

Similar to the last book I was sent to review, this book is not something that I would have ever chosen to read on my own. It’s way too regular.  Reading it reminded me of all those eighties evening soap operas like Knott’s Landing and Thirty Something. The story revolves around three women who have daughters who are seniors and about to graduate from a prep school in D.C. remarkably like Sidwell, the private Quaker school that Obama’s daughters attend. I kind of wish the book had been more about the school and less about the moms who all seem to be struggling with their own version of a midlife crisis in the form of either re-entering the workforce or marriage infidelity or overbearingitis. Their aim? To produce an end of the year graduation show for their daughters starring themselves and all the other senior moms. The show has to be written, choreographed and directed and all while the three organizers grapple with daughter drama  and their own fading dreams (or something like that).

There were parts of the book I enjoyed and at one point I really did want to know what was going to happen to one of the characters, but ultimately this book reads like a script for The Real Housewives of Washington D.C. Wealthy white women vying for power in an insulated environment that very few people even know exists much less care about.

It wasn’t a bad book – just not really my cup o’ tea.

They can’t all be you know.

Speaking of tea…

It goes quite nicely with back to back episodes of Inspector Lewis.

Darla and the Orchids

December 21st, 2011

I took my camera to work a few weeks ago to get some Christmas shots for the owner of the store.

I was supposed to be taking photos of our holiday merchandise and I did, but none of them turned out that great.

But I did get this nice picture of Darla the store manager with her morning coffee.

Hey Darla!

Darla!

I put you on my blog Darla!

I also got some very pretty shots of the orchids.

Standing in the greenhouse and photographing these lovely blossoms, one can almost forget that it is winter outside.

I would love to take one home with me.

But I could never decide which one to take.

We hosted Thanksgiving this year.  Twenty-seven of my husband’s closest relatives stayed at our house for four days.

We went hiking and played board games and watched ballgames and went to the movies and The Oracle Known as Steve staged a coup and tried to take over my kitchen, but I bravely fended him off with a carving knife, a rusty old egg beater and a very pokey meat thermometer. And yet, even as he bled out from oozing puncture wounds all over his entire body, he fought on and I still continued to find him at my stove doing things to my sauces and my stuffing and my sweet potatoes that he had NO RIGHT to do! The man truly is other worldly in his determination to control the destiny of my dinner.

Still.

In the end…

And in spite of the bloody kitchen coup,

we had a fine time.

I finally got to put to use all the fancy stemware and gold plated silverware that I inherited from my Uncle Chuck.

The table looked so pretty!

I wish I had gotten better photos, but the bloody battle with the Oracle for turkey control was taking all my attention and energy.

At some point in the day, some of us girls sat down and made some very pretty napkin rings using fresh evergreens, bittersweet and twine for the Thanksgiving table.

And then we moved all of the furniture out of the living room and set up a long table down the middle of the room.

In preparation for this gathering, I wanted to spruce up the house a bit particularly the study, a room that has never been sufficiently used due to a lack of furnishings and an over all atmosphere of chill malaise.

Here’s what I did to make it more welcoming…

1.  I painted the walls a nice dark, deep brown. They were a slate blue before. I think the brown is so much nicer and really cozies the room up.

2. I drove to Kansas City and purchased six second hand mission style oak quarter sawn oak chairs…

and a navy wing back chair with matching foot stool at a used furniture store called the Paris Flee. The chairs matched our existing table perfectly and gave us an additional dining space for our guests as well as a new place for the boys to spread out their homework. I am currently typing this post from the new (old) leather wing back. It’s very comfy and the navy blue leather matches the red/blue/green/tan plaid wool cushion on the chairs.

3. Next, I had a few of my favorite photos enlarged and I framed them in some store bought frames and hung them on the walls. You can see the bus photos in some of the above pics.

4. Finally, I tackled the shelves. I wish I had a before and an after of them. The shelves had never really been artfully arranged and they were not organized in any particular manner. I took everything off the shelves, cleaned them off, filled up two boxes with books to take to the used book store and then set about trying to make the shelves look more organized, interesting and fun.

5. I am not much of a decorator, but I think the shelves turned out nicely, I used little knick knacks I already had on hand to break up the stacks of books  and I organized the books loosely based on topics like…

The David and Amy Sedaris Section

The gardening with special attention to my hero, Beverly Nichols section

The Nancy Drew – my other hero section

My Heartwarming Atheist Collection located right below two shelves of classics.

The Agatha The Great and a few other mystery writers section.

The books I love a whole lot, lot, lot, lot, LOT section.

The CD’s book shelves..

I am so glad I tackled this project. The entire room is so much more welcoming now.

I would still like to find a rug, maybe some cushions for the window seat and possibly some wooden blinds as well as some more fun and funky items on the walls, the shelves and of course more books!  But I am pleased with the results at this point.